Animation speed slider for AI or Opponent Turns

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LittleHandle
Posts: 13
Joined: December 6th, 2012, 4:38 am

Animation speed slider for AI or Opponent Turns

Post by LittleHandle »

I've been playing a couple of larger maps, with large AI armies. The animation slider helps a lot, but controls both the player and the AI sides. I enjoy the flavour of the animations when playing, but sitting through it for AI turns is annoying, and changing preferences every turn even more so. There are no good options: change the settings often, have stilted/jerky animations and less flavour when making moves, or sit waiting through an AI turn which is 90% boring.

There are issues with not showing AI turns, the most important being missing the visual cues for when units die. You can easily see at the start of your turn where damage was done and where the units moved to (w/exception of invisible units), but you cannot easily see which units have died. Seeing moves and attacks sped up also useful at times, another reason for not just using skip AI turns.

This could be fixed, and the game improved, if a second animation speed slider for AI turns in addition to the on/off show AI moves checkbox. Alternatively, it would be nice to have the option to see only unit deaths on AI turns, since there is no (positive) visual indication between your turns if skipping AI animations. In MP scenarios, having sped-up opponent turns would also be useful.

It has been mentioned before, but this idea could be refined to include separate animation speeds for movement and attack. I would love to set animation speeds to roughly 2x move 1.5x attack for myself and 4x move and 2x attack for opponents (idle animations at 1x). While this would be great, the more important thing would be to keep the flavour for my turn while speeding up the AI turns so there is not a long wait and yet I'm not skipping the enjoyment of animations of my turn. A default where opponents animate movement (slightly) faster could also help increase the action and make the game more enjoyable as a default setting: Rush! The enemy advances with momentum! (even if it is just a slight amount)

This should be something that could be very quickly and easily implemented (tying animation speed to player/AI turns), have a large payoff for players, and come with no downsides.

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beetlenaut
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Re: Animation speed slider for AI or Opponent Turns

Post by beetlenaut »

I agree that we should have more control over animation speed (in the advanced menu maybe), but I think doing it by turns is the wrong approach because sometimes one of your units can be involved in an AI turn. I think the two sliders should be something like "player's units" and "only AI units". For example, I would like to speed up the acceleration to maximum during AI turns in the first scenario of HttT, but I don't because if one of my units gets attacked and killed it just blinks out and I don't have time to see what happened. It would be great if I could set the game to automatically slow down if one of my units was involved, and go at full speed otherwise (on the AI turns, that is).

I think you are confused about "Skip AI moves" though. It only skips the movement animations for the AI, not the fights or deaths. You should still see those.

There is a downside as more options allow more potential for bugs, but I think you're right that this feature would be well-liked.
Campaigns: Dead Water,
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LittleHandle
Posts: 13
Joined: December 6th, 2012, 4:38 am

Re: Animation speed slider for AI or Opponent Turns

Post by LittleHandle »

Mea culpa. I somehow misunderstood 'skip AI moves' to think it was skipping the whole turn, and was under this impression when I turned it on a few versions back.

This greatly reduces the impact of my idea, but it could still address some pain points, especially if splitting the sliders up (show advanced controls under animation speed??). I think it would also address a lot of new user complaints (and those that don't visit the preferences) if the AI movement animations were slightly higher by default (1.5 or even 1.25).

Beetlenaut also brings up a good point (thank you again!) with player's units vs. AI units. I was forgetting that AI on AI battles can also be painfully slow to watch.

Basically, the whole idea boils down to reducing the pain of watching a longer AI (or MP opponent) turn when you care about 10% or less of the moves/actions, and to strike a better balance between enjoying animations and increasing speed of gameplay. Anything that helps with this would be appreciated by players.

Another related idea that had been brought up awhile ago was to do a swarm animation for large hits with low chance or berserk units. I don't think a new animation is needed, but condensing total hp damage into one hit each side would be a feature at least a few people would really like.

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